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is the “ Ta Mei Kuo Tsun Tao Huei.” The magistrate refused to stamp them, saying that he had received orders not to stamp such deeds unless the three characters “ Ta Mei Kuo" were erased.

The second dispatch from the consul-general at Hankow was received yesterday, and incloses letter from Rev. W. H. Lingle, of the American Presbyterian Mission, stating that his mission had joined the United Evangelical Mission in securing a piece of ground for a cemetery. The deeds were made out in the usual way and sent to the magistrate to be stamped. The magistrate refused to do so, stating that he had recently received instruction that missions securing property were not to mention their nationality in the deeds. He showed Mr. Lingle the official document giving him these instructions.

Your imperial highness is perfectly aware that the refusal to stamp deeds on these grounds is a direct violation of the treaties. The commercial treaty of 1903 between the United States and China, in Article XIV, contains the following provision :

"Missionary societies of the United States shall be permitted to rent and to lease in perpetuity, as the property of such societies, buildings or lands in all parts of the Empire for missionary purposes, etc.”

I must therefore request your imperial highness to at once instruct the provincial authorities of Hunan that American missionary societies are entitled by treaty to rent and lease property, and that their deeds of lease must be made out to them as American societies.

Trusting that your highness will comply with this request without delay, I avail, etc.,

W. W. ROCKHILL.

[Inclosure 2.]

The Prince of Ch’ing to Mr. Rockhill.

FOREIGN OFFICE, March 9, 1906. Your EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency's letter of February 13, in which you cite two instances where American missionary societies had bought lands and in the deeds they had written the word “ American” before the name of the society, and for that reason the magistrate had refused to stamp the deeds. One case was reported by Reverend Doctor Dubs, of the mission of the United Evangelical Church, which had bought a piece of land at Siang-tan; the other by Rev. W. H. Lingle, also of Siang-tan, who stated that the American Presbyterian Mission of that place had joined with the United Evangelical Mission in securing a piece of ground for a cemetery. Your excellency said that whereas American missionary societies are permitted to rent land for missionary purposes, you felt it your duty to request that orders be given that the deeds be stamped as requested.

l'pon receipt of your excellency's dispatch my board telegraphed at once to the governor of Hunan about the matter, and have now received his reply saying that the magistrate of Siang-tan has reported as follows:

"As to the land purchased for a cemetery by Reverened lk. Lingle and the United Evangelical Mission, the deeds for the property did not contain the words 'chiao hui' (missionary society), and for that reason there was some delay. I have already consulted with the missionaries concerned, however, and the words 'kung ch’an' (property of the society) have been inserted in the deed, which has now been duly stamped."

As in duty bound I communicate this reply for your excellency's information. (SEAL.]

CHANGES IN THE CUSTOMS SERVICE. Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State. [Telegram-Paraphrase. ]

PEKING, May 9, 1906. (Mr. Rockhill reports that by an imperial edict issued this day all the customs of China and all the foreigners employed therein are placed under the control of T'ieh Liang, who is appointed minister superintendent of customs affairs, with Vice-Minister T’ang Shao Yi.)

The Secretary of State to Minister Rockhill.

[Telegram--Paraphrase.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, May 9, 1906. (Mr. Root inquires whether the imperial edict constitutes a practical nullification of the declaration of 1898 that an Englishman shall be inspector-general.)

Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

(Telegram-Abstract-Paraphrase.)

AMERICAN LEGATION,

Peking, May 10, 1906. (Mr. Rockhill has seen Tang Shao Yi. The latter says that the customs revenue is already hypothecated and will not be touched; treaties and pledges will be observed; the inspector-general will be an Englishman, but China will have a right to control him, he being a servant of that country.)

Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

No. 311.]

AMERICAN LEGATION,

Peking, May 15, 1906. Sir: On the 9th instant, much to the surprise of everyone, an imperial edict was published creating the office of minister superintendent of customs affairs, and placing all Chinese and foreigners employed in the various branches of the customs under its control. The office of associate minister_superintendent was also created by the same edict, a copy of which I inclose.

T'ieh-liang, president of the board of revenue and a very active member of the army reorganization council, is appointed minister superintendent, and the associate minister is Tiang Shao-yi, junior assistant secretary of the Wai-wu Pu. Both are very closely associated with and devoted to the viceroy, Yuan Shih-k’ai. I 'inclose a note on the career of T'ieh-liang; Tang Shao-yi is well known to the department.

I deemed the publication of this edict of sufficient importance to cable the substance to you. I confirm my cablegram as follows:

The following morning I received your telegram reading as follows: 4

Later in the day I called at the foreign office, and in conversation with Tang Shao-yi, the newly appointed associate minister of customs affairs, I asked him whether the edict would not practically cancel the pledge given by China to Great Britain and Germany in 1896 and again in 1898 in connection with the two loans, each for

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£16,000,000, made it by the powers and guaranteed by the maritime customs revenues, and in each of which (article 7 in loan of 1896 and article 6 in loan of 1898) it was stipulated that until the entire amounts of these loans were paid off China would not alter in any way the present maritime customs administration. I also referred to the declarations of the Chinese Government on February 10, 1898, and in January, 1903, that a British subject would be appointed inspector-general of customs as long as British trade preponderated.

His excellency replied that the new management was created for facilitating the transaction of the business of the customs, hence the president of the board of revenue and an assistant minister from the office of foreign affairs were placed in charge of the new department.

The revenues of the customs were already completely hypothecated and could not and would not be touched; the provisions of all treaties, agreements, pledges, and protocols made by China would be observed, and there would be an Englishman as inspector-general of customs. The inspector-general being, he added, a servant of China, as such the Chinese Government has the right to control his actions. It was for this purpose, in part, that the new administration was being established.

The British and German Governments, and in a lesser degree the French and Russian, being particularly interested in the question of the undisturbed maintenance of the present maritime customs administration, the revenues of which are largely hypothecated to them for loans made in 1896 and 1898, will probably take early opportunities to ascertain the purpose of the Chinese Government in issuing this edict.

I confirm as follows my cablegram sent you on the 10th after seeing the inspector-general of customs and his excellency Tang Shao-yi.a I have, etc.,

W. W. ROCKHILL.

[Inclosure 1-Translation.]

IMPERIAL EDICT.

MAY 9, 1906. T'ieh-liang, president of the board of revenue, is hereby appointed minister superintendent of customs affairs, and Tang Shao-yi, junior vice-president of the board of foreign affairs, is appointed associate minister in the management of customs affairs. All Chinese and foreigners employed at the various customs are placed under their control.

Respect this.

[Inclosure 2.)

[Note on the career of Tieh-liang, appointed by imperial edict of May 9, 1906, minister superintendent for customs affairs. ]

T'ieh-liang is a Manchu of middle age who has risen very rapidly in the past three years.

In the spring of 1901 he was a director of the grand court of revision. In November, 1903, he became a vice-president of the board of revenue and at the same time was made a member of the army reorganization council on commission. In the spring of 1904 he visited Japan to study military methods, and in

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May, 1904, became vice-president of the board of war. In July of that year he went through the central provinces on a special mission to inspect the condition of the army, forts, arsenals, etc. On his return he submitted a long report, criticising severely the character of the troops and equipment of the provincial armies and making various recommendations.

A report on his mission was sent to the department on November 29, 1904, in dispatch No. 1755.

July 13, 1905, he became acting president of the board of war, and December 6, 1905, president of the board of revenue. On January 9, 1906, he was admitted to the grand council.

He does not cultivate the acquaintance of foreigners.

Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

[Telegram--Paraphrase. ]

AMERICAN LEGATION,

Peking, May 21, 1906. (Mr. Rockhill states that the German and British diplomatic representatives have received replies to their inquiries concerning the customs edict, which are indefinite and generally considered unsatisfactory. The British sent a second note on Saturday. Mr. Rockhill, in reply to his inquiry, has received a note from the minister for foreign affairs which is absolutely noncommittal. Most of the diplomatic representatives in Peking are instructed to support Great Britain in insisting on a satisfactory promise for the future, and Mr. Rockhill asks whether he shall join with them.)

The Secretary of State to Minister Rockhill.

[Telegram---Paraphrase.)

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, May 21, 1906. (Referring to Mr. Rockhill's cable of May 21, Mr. Root instructs him to concur with other powers in supporting the position which Great Britain has taken.)

Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State.

(Telegram-Paraphrase.)

AMERICAN LEGATION,

Peking, June 7, 1906. (The chargé d'affaires of Great Britain informs Mr. Rockhill that the Chinese Government declares that the decree appointing the high commissioner's makes no change in the administration of the maritime customs, which, it is stipulated, shall remain as at present constituted during the currency of the loans of 1896 and 1898. The Government of Great Britain has declared its satisfaction.)

Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State. No. 327.]

AMERICAN LEGATION,

Peking, June 13, 1906. Sir: In continuation of my No. 311 of May 15, I have the honor to state that on that date, it appearing to me desirable to secure from the Chinese Government a written statement concerning the scope of the imperial edict of May 9 appointing the high commissioners of customs, I addressed a note to the Prince of Ch’ing, a translation of which is inclosed herewith. On the 17th I received the prince's reply, in which he informed me that the newly appointed commissioners had, in an interview with Sir Robert Hart, informed him that customs affairs in the future be managed as heretofore. This reply I considered so unsatisfactory that I did not deem it necessary to communicate it to you.

I now have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a note dated the 6th instant from the chargé d'affaires of Great Britain to the dean of the diplomatic body, inclosing a translation of a note received by him from His Highness the Prince of Ch'ing explaining the imperial edict of May 9. The British chargé d'affaires informs the dean in this note that he has received authorization from his Government to state that it is satisfied with the contents of the prince's note.

Of course the question involves not only the whole subject of the administration of the maritime customs, properly speaking, but also that of the native customs at the treaty ports, which by the portocol of September 7, 1901, were placed under the control of the maritime customs.

Upon receipt of this information from the dean, I telegraphed you on the 7th instant the substance of the prince's note, as follows: I have, etc.,

W. W. RockHILL.

(Inclosure 1--Translation.]

Mr. Rockhill to the Prince of Ch'ing.

PEKING, May 15, 1906. YOUR IMPERIAL HIGHNESS: On the 9th instant the following imperial edict was published:

T'ieh-liang, president of the board of revenue, is hereby appointed to the post of minister superintendent of customs affairs, and Tang Shao-i, junior vicepresident of the board of foreign affairs, is made associate minister of customs affairs. All Chinese and foreigners employed at any station of the imperial maritime customs are placed under their control. Respect this."

On the same day I telegraphed an English translation of the above edict to my Government, and later I received instructions directing me to inquire of your imperial highness whether or not there was contemplated in the issue of this edict any change whatsoever in any department of the imperial maritime customs.

I have the honor, therefore, to request your imperial highness to inform me at as early a date as possible what changes, if any, in the administration of the imperial maritime customs are involved in the execution of the above edict. I avail, etc.

W. W. ROCKHILL.

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